Make no mistake about it, 2017 was the year of ransomware. It achieved mainstream notoriety due to the mass-spread of ransomware like WannaCry that targeted institutions, companies, and hospitals alike!
By holding organizations hostage over their confidential data, ransomware coerced people to pay hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of dollars!
Given the fact that the Wall Street Journal claims that more than 200,000 computers were affected in 2017 alone, it’s high time we armed ourselves with the knowledge needed to overcome this epidemic. Follow this simple guide to ensure that you’re always protected against ransomware and that your confidential data is safe from cyber-attacks.
1. Install System Updates
By far the easiest way to fend off ransomware is to never put off system updates released by Microsoft. Although it may feel like that the tech giant releases useless updates every day, there’s a reason why these releases are so frequent.
The people at Microsoft work hard to constantly add new malware to its library, which basically tells your computer which activity should be considered malicious and nipped in the bud. By keeping your Windows outdated, you leave your system exposed and vulnerable to attacks from new, more subtle viruses that can effectively cripple your organization.
To guarantee your cyberspace security, make sure to install system updates as soon as they’re released. It’s also a wise idea to update your Adobe and Oracle apps as they’re usually the software that ransomware tends to target.
2. Limit User Access
An effective to minimize your chances of falling victim to ransomware attacks is to limit user access.
We suggest using the User Access Control feature in your computers as they can easily prevent your employees from (unintentionally or otherwise) installing software or programs that are infected by viruses.
By using the User Access Control feature, only the administrator (in this case you or your IT team) can install new programs on a workstation which significantly reduces the chances of ransomware attacks.
3. Take Extra Precaution
It’s better to be safe than sorry as far as fending off ransomware is concerned. This is why we urge our readers to go the extra mile to fortify their cyberspace defenses. As 76% of ransomware originates from spam mail, it’s better to instruct your employees never click on the links they receive in their spam inbox.
While you’re at it, you should also make sure that they never download an app without reading the reviews first (because for all you know, it could be riddled with malware). Similarly, blocking popups and never opening strange email attachments are also simple yet effective ways to fend off ransomware.
4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Remote Backup Options
The best way to prevent the damage caused by ransomware is to make backups of your files and confidential data. You can take this to the next level by copying the backed up files on a remote server or disk—both of which can significantly reduce the damage caused by ransomware.
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